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As in the first novel, Charley Partanna, trusted underboss and hitman for the Prizzi crime empire, has fallen for a woman who is not what she appears to be. In this case, it is Mardell La Tour, a showgirl in a Prizzi-owned nightclub.
Mardell is, in fact, the daughter of a wealthy society family, and her showgirl act is only one of a series of identities she has adopted. Enter Maerose, the strong and beautiful granddaughter of Don Corrado Prizzi, who is ambitious to become the first woman boss of the Prizzis, a dream that requires Charley to marry her.
Obsessed with Mardell yet pulled by loyalty and lust to Maerose, Charley is trapped between them, all the while carrying out his regular duties as the Prizzi enforcer.
This is a story that has to be read to be believed. I found that I had some books tucked away in a cupboard that needed to be read and this was one of them, to be honest if I didn't already have it then I'm not sure I would have gone looking for it.
The main character is Charley, an underboss and hit man whose life take a few unexpected turns. The book makes out that New York is the most corrupt place in the world, the mayor is under the mafia's control along with the police force.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who doesn't like a lot of bad language and some graphic crime scenes. There was the usual good guys who were trying to get things cleaned up, gangsters who turned on the family and had to be taken care of and the cover ups that follow.
The ending was a bit unexpected but then like life it doesn't always go to plan. Charley had two girls to choose from and due to circumstances, nothing went to plan. I'm hoping there might be a follow up book so I can see what happens next.
I wouldn't read this book again but I would try and find some books by Richard Condon to read as it is a really interesting subject matter.
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